Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the day “January 7, 2009”

The Holiday Party Season

Like many writers, I am not the party swinger. During the year, the kind of parties that I am invited to tend to be kids birthday parties, where the grand sum of conversation circulates around … kids. Perhaps I’m not the greatest father (though I do try to be), but somehow, it seems there is only so much to discuss with almost-strangers about your child or theirs, generally theirs. I guess if I were invited to writer’s parties, I would have a ball. But I’m not, so I don’t.

The holiday season presents an intense season of parties, not necessarily revolving around children. Being in the Bay Area, Xmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, all neatly intermingle and we all seem comfortable if not excited at joining each other’s religious celebrations. It’s not hard: we all utilize light, presents, food and wine.

We also socialize.

Like most writers, I’d rather be writing, but I decided this year to approach the parties with a goal. I will present myself as an author. Fresh from the conference I attended in Baltimore (see blog entry: Elevator Pitch), with my well-practiced elevator pitch, I slipped some business cards that promote this blog into my pocket and, so armed, went into battle.

I failed. Even my wife took pity on me and tried to bring up Oilspill dotcom in every conversation that we shared, but to little avail. Twice, I never even got to finish my elevator pitch, once a child fell down and began crying near us, and one woman even spilt her plate of food (I would like to think this was an accident, rather than an act of desperation).

People do perk up their ears when I mention my blog. But they are not interested in my book or me; they are interested in the phenomenon of blogging. And all too quickly the conversation turns to: “What do you people have to say?” “Who reads them?” “My friends/family/colleagues think I should blog. Who has the time?”

And then they turn away to fill their wine glass and replenish their plate with turkey and cranberry sauce and I’m left surreptitiously returning the blog business card to my pocket and sighing.

Happy End-of-Holidays & Good Writing!


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